An Overview of the 2013 NOAA Hazardous Weather Testbed Spring Forecasting Experiment
The 2013 Spring Forecasting Experiment (SFE2013) was conducted 6 May – 7 June. The major theme of SFE2013 was to explore the utility of short-term convection-allowing and mesoscale ensemble model guidance in creating frequently updated, high-temporal resolution probabilistic forecasts of severe weather. For SFE2013, a suite of new and improved experimental mesoscale and convection-allowing model (CAM) guidance was available for the generation of these forecasts. The new guidance included the NSSL Mesoscale Ensemble (NME), an EnKF-based 18-km grid-spacing, 36 member analysis and forecast system; a parallel NSSL WRF-ARW initialized from the NME; 12 UTC-initialized convection-allowing ensembles; and two CAM runs (i.e., 4.4- and 2.2-km grid spacing) from the Unified Model of the UK Met Office (UKMET) through a new collaborative endeavor.
During SFE2013, a variety of forecast and evaluation activities were conducted to address several primary goals: 1) assess the value of updating convective outlooks valid for 3-hour periods, 2) compare 12 UTC-initialized convection-allowing ensembles to their 00 UTC-initialized counterparts, 3) evaluate the NME in diagnosing and predicting the pre-convective environment, 4) determine whether the parallel NSSL WRF-ARW initialized from the NME produces improved forecasts over the NAM-initialized version, and 5) investigate the UKMET Unified Model convection-allowing runs for performance differences with the WRF-ARW runs. A summary of the preliminary findings and results of SFE2013 is presented along with the potential operational impacts.
Supplementary URL: http://hwt.nssl.noaa.gov/Spring_2013/